Recent years have witnessed a dramatic growth in interest in economic methodology. However this work has moved in a number of significantly different directions, and it is not easy to see how several of these might be reconciled. The virtual consensus on some varient of the falsificationism' associated with Kuhn, Lakatos and Popper that had emerged by the late 1970's has gone, and has been replaced by a range of more or less exclusive approaches. In New Directions in Economic Methodology some of the figures most closely associated with the most important of these new approaches provide new and definitive statements of their positions. The result reflects the diversity of work currently undertaken in economic methodology. Much, but no means all, of this work reflects a disatisfaction with the current practice of economics and in the course of the book various attempts to reform or replace existing practice are proposed. The book begins with chapters which examine some of the big questions which underlie Economics. What are - and what should be - the aims of Economics? How might these be pursued?
It proceeds with a section which considers what is left of falsificationis This includes which advocate, critique and reformulate what is still the dominant position within economic methodology. The third and fouth sections of the book reflect the extent to which recent developments are influenced by areas outside of economics, especially philosophy (both analytical and continental), discourse analysis and various forms of critical theory. The perspectives addressed here include different incarnations of realism, pragmaticism, those of the rhetoric' school and other approaches which see the economy as a text'.